Bringing disgruntled Soldiers back into the team | AskTOP.net - Leader Development for Army Professionals

Bringing disgruntled Soldiers back into the team

When you are confronted by a soldier determined to butt heads with you and resist your efforts to get him or her to do their job and meet the standards, it is extremely frustrating. While you might have enough to process them for an administrative discharge, you will still be stuck with them until the separation is completed, a process which invariably takes longer than you expect. And there is no guarantee that the replacement you get, if you get one, will be a better soldier. In addition, recommending too many soldiers for separation can subject you to criticism by your supervisors, who may question your leadership ability or be unwilling to support your action.

posted on 07/12/2013 under Articles
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Jo B. Rusin is a retired soldier, who spent the majority of her career in Regular Army troop units from platoon leader to commander of a support brigade in the Gulf War. As a combat service support soldier, Jo B. served in units composed of both men and women from all racial and ethnic groups. She is a strong believer in the ability of soldiers to succeed, regardless of whether they are men or women or where they came from. Jo B. is the author of a number of military leadership books, including Move Out: The Insider's Guide for Military Leaders; Move to the Front: The Classic Guide for Military Women; and Women on Your Team: A Man's Guide to Leading Women. JoRusin.com

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  • Av1d

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    It’s to bad the best and brightest are leaving then, isn’t it? The best and brightest either leave to SOF units or leave the bureaucracy and ETS for better things, the people that get left behind are the power-hungry sociopathic politicians that only care about rank and bullets on their NCOER/OER.

    The same people that make the argument that you can just be nice to a soldier and expect them to be fine are the same who enjoy being treated like a second class citizen by people who are so incompetent it boggles the mind. Am I saying every NCO/OFFICER is like this? No. I’ve had some great ones, some that slipped through the army’s cracks and made it with their personality, intelligence, and relaxed attitude intact.

    The idea that when you ask a soldier what he wants to do when he gets out, and he responds with ‘I don’t know’, is ridiculous. That’s just one more tactic that the leadership puts forward to try to scare people into reenlisting. It’s very much like when they tell you, ‘you’ll be back in six months’ or ‘there’s nothing out there for you’. The vast majority of the time soldiers have a plan. Go to college, get a job, and the truth of the matter is even if they did say ‘I don’t know’ it would still be a better alternative to staying in and not having any freedom, being treated like a second class citizen. I’d stand around a fire with other bums if it meant I’d never be treated or have to see others treated like serfs, abject slaves. If the army taught me anything it’s just how much I hate and how to laugh in the face of authority.

  • SGT NICK

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    When I finished reading this piece I was shocked it was written by the author. The leader in these scenarios is picking up a lot of slack, more than what is probably deserved for the Soldier. I just block a Soldiers promotion/advancement/reenlistment if they are in dud mode. Its hard to reshape a Soldier that has numerous profiles/appointments and is hardly around to contribute to the team.

    Luckily its much easier now to chapter problem Soldiers than ever before. Some may think thats a little harsh but I always stress to Soldiers that a poor work ethic would never fly in the in civilian workforce, so take it with a grain of salt if you wish. I understand that these Soldiers are young and are probably not fully aware that their actions have serious consequences, but the Army doesnt have time for this anymore and only wants to retain the best and the brightest.

    Good Article Jo

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